I found this graph on the Web site of SAS, a leader in the business intelligence software market. It served as an example of the data presentation capabilities of SAS's software, which are elaborate but not always well used.
Notice the following problems in the example above:
It took me 10 minutes to enter the data and produce the following alternative:
Assuming that the shape of the data and precise monthly temperatures are both needed by readers, this graph provides a simple but elegant solution.
SAS has set a new precedent that I would love to see other software vendors follow. A talented member of the SAS team, Robert Allison, agreed that the
original graph had problems and took it upon himself to demonstrate that SAS's software could be used to not only duplicate my solution, but surpass it.
Here's the improved solution that Robert sent to me:
Notice how Robert's addition of the seasons and a reference line to mark the freezing point have enriched the graph with meaningful context.
I appreciate SAS's thoughtful response and excellent attitude.